When the Nakuru County Assembly Speaker Susan Wakarura Kihika was declared the winner of the Jubilee Party senatorial nomination yesterday at the Nakuru ASK showground, two things stood out about her.
Ms Kihika is on the verge of making history by becoming the first ever woman Senator in Nakuru County if she is elected on August 8.
She firmly stamped her authority and confirmed that she is indeed the Iron Lady of Nakuru politics.
Ms Kihika’s basket of votes exceeded even the one for governor and Woman rep winners, Lee Kinyanjui and Ms Liza Chelule, who garnered 216,385 and 119,924 votes respectively.
She beat a male dominated field that included some of the most seasoned politicians like John Njenga Mungai and Mr Koigi Wamwere by polling 270,581 votes.
“Devolution is a great thing and that is why I want to go to Senate to defend it on behalf of Wanjiku,” she said.
At the male dominated Nakuru County Assembly, Ms Kihika was loved and hated in equal measure, but she stood firm to make sure the assembly delivered on its key responsibilities of oversight and legislation.
“The assembly will go down in history as one of the best rated in the devolved units as we put to task Governor Kinuthia Mbugua administration by turning down his unqualified appointees and formed ad hoc committee to unearth malpractices in his administration,” said the mother of two teenage girls.
“I am a go-getter, a fighter, a dreamer and an ambitious politician,” she told the Nation before the nominations.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto picked her in their disbanded re-election campaign team, a sign that they had faith in her.
When she returned to the country in 2012 after living in the US for 20 years, Ms Kihika plunged herself into Nakuru politics but tested what was in store for her when her bid to oust Mr Kimani Ngunjiri in the Bahati seat race flopped.
She is one politician who always appears energetic and ready to get things done the right way or bulldoze her way through.
“As a woman to fit into the male dominated Kenya politics, I have taught myself to fight and hit even below the belt if need be to make sure I achieve my goals,” she said.
She floored 12 men to become Speaker in 2013 and turned out to be one of the most powerful and influential individuals in Nakuru County politics.
As Speaker of the Nakuru County Assembly, she led the assembly to pass more than 80 motions that have culminated into laws.
Ms Kihika was born in 1974 and attended Bishop Gatimu Ngandu Girls in Nyeri County before going in the US in 1993 for further studies.
She holds a degree in Political Science and Government from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, US.
She also did a Jurist Doctorate Law Degree from the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, US.
She once served as chief prosecutor in the US where she was responsible for prosecuting thousands of criminal cases.
She founded her law firm, The Kihika Law Firm in Dallas.
Ms Kihika is the Vice Chairperson of the County Assemblies Forum.